When you’re going under anaesthetic, you want to know you’re being looked after in the best possible way. Whether you're being treated by a private or NHS healthcare provider, hospital, dentist or elsewhere, it’s understandable to feel worried or vulnerable.
Although most people are anaesthetised without any complications, occasionally mistakes are made.
If you suffer an injury that could have been avoided while under anaesthetic, or if you suffer serious side effects due to an incorrect dosage, you may be entitled to compensation.
Typical anaesthetic complications
Although uncommon, when anaesthetic complications happen they often involve one or more of the following:
- Unnecessary pain or discomfort
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nerve damage
- Damage to the teeth, mouth or throat
- Embolism (air bubble trapped in a blood vessel)
Claiming against the NHS
We know that some people have reservations about claiming compensation from the NHS after anaesthetic complications. In some cases, there is a concern that claiming could affect the quality of care they (or others) receive in future.
However, it’s important to remember that any claims against the NHS are handled by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), a taxpayer-funded body set up to handle clinical negligence claims made against the NHS. Because of this system, your local hospital’s budget won’t be adversely affected by your claim.
Claiming after loss of life
Unfortunately, in the most severe cases, anaesthetic complications can be fatal.
If you’ve lost a family member after something went wrong during an operation, we understand the profound affect this will have had on your life.
Along with the bereavement of losing someone close to you, you may find yourself under financial pressure. Compensation can help ease that pressure, so if you'd like to find out more about your options, our legal services advisors can help.
Or, you can read our page on claiming on behalf of a loved one for more information.